To say there’s been a bit of a kerfuffle around Oculus founder Palmer Luckey and his alleged political leaning of late would be a massive understatement.
For those that might not have heard, reports recently emerged that Luckey had funded a pro-Donald Trump political group behind numerous ‘shitposting’ memes about fellow Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Daily Beast first reported that Luckey – who sold Oculus VR to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion – backed a group called Nimble America, who describe themselves as ‘a social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit’ that supports Trump.
24-year-old Luckey told The Daily Beast that he used the name ‘NimbleRichMan’ to express his views on Reddit. You can see one of these comments in the Tweet below.
I’ve got plenty of money. Money is not my issue. I thought it sounded like a real jolly good time.
— CodyB (@CodyBrown) September 23, 2016
Luckey explained to The Daily Beast how he came to get involved with Nimble America:
I came into touch with them over Facebook,” he said. “It went along the lines of, ‘Hey, I have a bunch of money. I would love to see more of this stuff.’ They wanted to build buzz and do fundraising.
Now, Luckey has responded to these reports with his own statement posted to Facebook, in which he claims he is ‘deeply sorry for his actions’.
You can read the full statement below:
I am deeply sorry that my actions are negatively impacting the perception of Oculus and its partners.The recent news stories about me do not accurately represent my views.
Here’s more background: I contributed $10,000 to Nimble America because I thought the organization had fresh ideas on how to communicate with young voters through the use of several billboards. I am a libertarian who has publicly supported Ron Paul and Gary Johnson in the past, and I plan on voting for Gary in this election as well.
I am committed to the principles of fair play and equal treatment. I did not write the “NimbleRichMan” posts, nor did I delete the account. Reports that I am a founder or employee of Nimble America are false. I don’t have any plans to donate beyond what I have already given to Nimble America.
Still, my actions were my own and do not represent Oculus. I’m sorry for the impact my actions are having on the community.
For those of you who might have skimmed the above, here’s the takeaway: Luckey admits he funded the group, but as a way to ‘connect with young voters’ more than anything else.
He also claims that he had nothing to do with the NimbleRichMan posts – though this directly contradicts what he told The Daily Beast.
Finally, he states that he is in no way affiliated with Nimble America (beyond the initial funding) and that he has no more plans to work with, or fund the group.
It’s also worth noting that all Reddit posts pertaining to NimbleRichMan and Nimble America were rapidly deleted.
As a result of these reports, a number of VR developers have decided to pull support for Oculus. Check out a few of the reactions below.
SUPERHYPERCUBE will not be supporting Oculus. https://t.co/sqtAzZ8hJZ
— Polytron (@Polytron) September 23, 2016
— Scruta Games (@ScrutaGames) September 23, 2016
— Tomorrow Today Labs (@TTLabsVR) September 23, 2016
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.